Wishing for More

By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2006-02-27 Print this article Print

Some of the finer points of the revision interface take some getting used to. For example, we couldnt navigate to the Typo tab except by selecting a word from either the Comment or Propose Change tab. Users in the reviewer role should be able to learn the system in just a couple of hours, however.

Authors have more responsibility for managing the comment and revision process, so companies should plan to train them on how the product works and establish guidelines for how to handle open comments when closing out a document review. We liked that the product can strip out all Word metadata to avoid the possibility of accidentally leaving open comments in place.

We couldnt help but wish, though, for a few more workflow options and capabilities.

For example, when an author closes out a review, the review is over—he or she cant restart it if further review is needed. We also would have liked a sign-off capability—something that would ensure that all vested parties had reviewed and approved a document.

We did like the notification options, which allowed us to set reminder dates for a given project. As author, we could also suspend a review at any time.

PleaseReview includes a main report that comprises all reconciliation and comment data, as well as a downloadable document that has numbered links between comments and paragraphs. Companies using the Corporate Edition can generate their own reports against a SQL database using a reporting tool such as Business Objects Crystal Reports.

To review PDFs, users must install a free plug-in for Adobe Systems Acrobat Professional that provides a PleaseReview-specific comment tool bar in addition to Acrobat Professionals comment tool bars. The plug-in works in the context of the Web browser, which means that we could comment on PDF documents while logged on to PleaseReview.

During tests, we were able to revise PDF document text and place comments near graphic elements.

Take it offline

In this release of the corporate Edition of PleaseReview, Kcentrix has introduced an offline client. We liked that the offline client behaves much like the Web-based client, essentially by adding a wrapper around the browser. (PleaseReview supports Internet Explorer and the Mozilla Foundations Firefox.) Users just go through the added steps of uploading and downloading documents to work on them offline. During the upload process, comments are automatically put into place in the document.

When we uploaded a document for review, PleaseReview parsed the documents elements—such as table of contents, paragraphs and words—into objects we could address from either Internet Explorer or Firefox. We could then comment and propose changes to paragraphs or words in the document.

Next Page: The evaluation shortlist.


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